Deeper Thoughts
Why Data Management Matters

This past August, LodeStar turned ten years old! We’ve enjoyed many successes over the past decade, and we’re grateful for all the people who have helped us get here. To celebrate a decade of business, we’re highlighting some of our team members’ perspectives on the company and its growth.

This month we’re featuring Ron Carvalho, LodeStar’s Director of Data Operations.


Starting Out

When Ron joined LodeStar two and a half years ago, the first order of business was instilling a sense of cohesion to the company’s fee management processes. Things worked fine—but not the same way or with the same consistency every time. And when you’re the nation’s leading provider of closing cost data, you can’t afford inconsistencies or inefficiencies. The back end of the database needs to be meticulously regulated and updated.

To do that, there are two main steps: firstly, clarify the process and, secondly, codify the process. Decide the way something gets done every time, then record that process for repeatability. Dave, LodeStar’s CTO, has designed amazing tools to fetch and import recording fees, transfer taxes, and lots of other data into a user’s POS, LOS, or API-based environment. But Ron makes sure the data Dave’s tools are referencing is exactly as it should be, 100% of the time.

More and More Fee Expertise

This means that when some hyper-specific fee update comes along (for example, the Peconic Bay Tax), necessary adjustments have been made in LodeStar’s, often before our clients even know something has changed. Beyond increased accuracy and cleanliness, the benefit of tightening up fee management processes in the database meant LodeStar had time to invest in expanding the kinds of fees and features we offer through our Closing Cost Calculator.

For example, LodeStar added a title rounding table. Before, we had default rounding rules, which are still in place, but we have the ability to override them. Most of the time, a client’s not going to care whether something is a dollar one way or the other. But some really, really do. And that preference something that we could and should support.

So we do now. And that’s just one among many tiny adjustments we can make, as the client prefers.